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Adaptogens are like a nutritional best friend. How many of you have an awesome best friend? The kind of friend who is there when you are happy and sad. The one who knocks on your door when you don’t answer your texts because they know something is wrong. When they see the look on your face, they know right away what you need. You may need time to laugh and watch lifetime movies or someone to tell you to lace up your boots and get some things done. That’s what awesome adaptogens are like. They help support your body’s needs to bring it back to balance.

Stress and Adaptogens

Stress is always coming at us from multiple fronts, and our body constantly tries to adapt to stressors and return to homeostasis, or a natural state of balance. If your body displays a symptom, it’s because it’s responding to stressors. These stressors could be environmental, physical, or mental assaults on the body. Adaptogens are plants that help your body respond to stressors, but they do it in a nonspecific way. So, that means your body might react very differently compared to someone also taking that herb (or fungi). It will be different based on the physiological need.

Adaptogens help you adapt to what’s stressing your body out, and they do it on multiple fronts. For example, an adaptogen might give you energy if you are tired, but that herb could also calm you down when you’re overstimulated. It’s not an energy drink that will give you wings but can provide you with what you need to heal. You might think you need energy, but your body might need to rest for healing. Adaptogens contain a variety of constituents that work together to support your body.

Our modern lives are full of stress: some stressors we can’t avoid, and some we put on ourselves. You can’t abuse your body and rely on adaptogens to keep you going. So, find ways to support your body while removing stressors. An adaptogen can help you with unavoidable toxins or while you find out what is stressing your body out.

So, let’s talk about six awesome adaptogens and their potential benefits. But remember, benefits will be specific to the individual and how their body needs to adapt.

6 Awesome Adaptogens and Their Potential Benefits

1) Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a popular supplement that’s making its way into teas and tinctures everywhere. This root has been used for thousands of years and is commonly known as Indian ginseng. Researchers believe the high concentrations of withanolides are the root of its many potential benefits. Doc loves it for its ability to help the adrenals adapt and support hormonal balance.

  • Can support healthy adrenal function and hormone regulation
  • Encourages healthy responses to everyday stress
  • Can help energy levels
  • May promote healthy sleep

2) Astragalus

There are many biochemical reasons to love astragalus, including how it can support your immune response. Astragalus is one of the most constituent-dense herbs with 126 different compounds, including flavonoids, saponins, polysaccharides, and amino acids that work together to help the body adapt. It’s commonly taken to help fight colds and the flu, but it has numerous benefits for the body.

  • Can restore and enhance immune response
  • Promotes glucose homeostasis
  • Supports healthy adrenal and digestive function
  • Buffers the effects of stress

3) Reishi

Medicinal mushrooms are amazing, and reishi is known as the mushroom of immortality. Mushrooms can survive in crazy places, and the components can help you adapt, too. The high levels of immunomodulating polysaccharides found in the walls of these mushrooms are particularly beneficial. The high amounts of triterpenoids that researchers have found may also help fend off viruses are unique to the reishi mushroom. Learn more about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms and how to identify a quality supplement in our medicinal mushroom article.

  • Can support immune response
  • Immunomodulatory
  • Can reduce inflammation
  • Supports liver function

4) Licorice

Licorice root is an adaptogen used for thousands of years and has many health benefits. This supplement is known for its support of adrenal function and, specifically, for its ability to help regulate cortisol. Too much cortisol (or too little) is a sign of chronic stress in the body. You might also know of the digestive benefits of licorice, like reducing nausea and acid reflux.

  • Can regulate cortisol
  • Supports immune response
  • Aids adrenal function

5) Schisandra

This medicinal berry is a beneficial supplement for women and a fantastic adaptogen. Schisandra impacts all the liver pathways and supports liver function. Your liver is critical for removing toxins and integral to hormone conversion, so supporting the liver is essential to your health. This adaptogen is known for its ability to help you age well, thanks to its many benefits.

  • Supports liver function
  • Aids adrenal function
  • Eases everyday tension and stress
  • Supports the immune response

6) Rehmannia

Rehmannia can help you respond to occasional stressors that come your way, as well as support the adrenals via the production of stress hormones. Its capacity to promote adrenal and liver health can assist stress hormone metabolism, contributing to hormonal balance.

  • Supports adrenal gland and liver health
  • Promotes a healthy response to environmental stress
  • Helps balance hormones

Using Adaptogens Effectively

Adaptogens are awesome, and many people will experience the benefits of normalizing physiological functions. Because they help the body respond to stressors, they can benefit those low in some of the components found in adaptogens. Throwing every adaptogen in the book at whatever ails you can be costly. To learn what’s stressing your body, get tested, and find a proficient practitioner to help you determine which adaptogens will best support your body. Adaptogens are awesome, but remember, the benefits will be unique to the individual.


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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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